Last Friday, we didn’t go on a mitzvah trip. Instead, we stayed at the building and went to Rabbi Olitzky’s baby’s bris. First, we went to the minyan in the morning, which Rabbi Olitzky lead. Then, we all went into the main sanctuary for the ceremony. We waited as the rest of the people came in, and then the actual bris started. They said some prayers, and then they performed it. Rabbi O’s brother was the sandok (the one who holds the baby when he gets circumcised). Then they said some more prayers, the baby’s Hebrew name was revealed (Noah Abraham) and Noah’s great-grandparents said a few words. Then, we all went into the social hall for the seudas mitzvah (festive meal after a mitzvah).
Noah Abraham was named after one of his relatives, Abraham Noah. He was also named after the biblical characters Noach and Avraham. His parents hope that he will stand out in his generation and be kind to all, just like Noach and Avraham were. I was also named after my great-great grandmother Sarah, who was called by her middle name Ida. Her Hebrew name is Sarah, so my parents took the Shin and named me Shmuel.
Girls have a similar ceremony called a Simchas Bas. It can happen any time. This is done on any time when the Torah is read (Monday, Thursday, Shabbas, or Yom Tov), preferably the closest Torah reading to the birthday date. This is when the baby girl is named. There is usually a seudas mitzvah after the Simchas Bas.